Cookie cutters come in all shapes and sizes. Nowadays, you can even design 3-D printed cookie cutters! But did you know that you can also easily make your own cookie cutters with a few household items?
Store-bought cookie cutters will always give you sharper shapes and last longer than these DIY versions. But if you're pressed for time, short on funds or you just can't find what you need, you can always make DIY cookie cutters!
Check out our tutorial below to find out how to make your own DIY cookie cutters.
- Disposable aluminum sheet pan
- Thick gloves
- Craft knife
- Cutting mat
- Print-out of your desired cookie shape
- Round nose pliers
- Combination / lineman pliers
Step 1: Print your template
First, print out the cookie shape you want. Ideally, you want to find a silhouette or outline of the shape. If you can't find a silhouette or line drawing, print a more detailed image and then draw around the shape with a thick marker.
Don't forget to check the sizing before printing! You want to be sure your cookie will be a manageable size.
Beware of more complex shapes. Not only are intricate designers tougher to create cutters for, but they're hard to bake with, too. Simpler shapes will save you a lot of stress when making DIY cookie cutters. If you do have a detailed design, make sure it's relatively large — tiny details are really hard to work with!
Step 2: Put on your safety gloves!
To make your DIY cookie cutters, you'll be working with pieces of sharp aluminum — which will absolutely hurt bare hands.
To avoid nasty cuts, wear good work gloves while you work. We recommend leather, faux leather, craft gloves or gardening gloves. They need to be nice and thick — cotton or knitted gloves won't give you much protection.
Step 3: Cut the base of an aluminum tin
If you can, flatten out your aluminum sheet pan. If the sides won't budge, carefully cut them away so you're left with the flat base.
Aluminum is sharp, so it's best to always work on a scratch-resistant surface. Using a cutting mat is a great option.
Tip: You can also use soda cans to make your DIY cookie cutters. They'll be shorter when cut into strips, so they're better for making mini cutters.
Step 4: Cut the aluminum into strips
Using a sharp craft knife, cut the aluminum sheet into 2" strips (or 3" if you need a deeper cutter). Keep in mind that you'll be folding them over.
Step 5: Fold the strips in half.
Fold the aluminum strips over three times (letter-fold style) to create a sturdier, long rectangle to work with. If you don't think that your aluminum strips are strong enough, you can fold them over again.
Then, use a ruler to press down on the edges, which will make them sharper and flatter. A dull, thick edge tends to smush rather than cut.
Step 6: Fold the strips into shape
Next, fold the aluminum strips into shape by following the outline of your printed shape.
For sharp corners, fold the aluminum strip down all the way and then gently open up the fold. To get smooth curves, shape the aluminum over a rolling pins or a bowls. If you need to make a trickier shape, a pair of long-nose pliers will help.
If your aluminum strip is too short for your shape, you can always add more by stapling a new strip onto the last one.
When your shape is finished, crimp the ends together using a pair of combination pliers. Then it's time to roll out your dough, cut and bake your custom shaped cookies!
Knowing how to make DIY cookie cutters can be a pretty handy trick in the kitchen. You don't even have to stick to cookies. How about shaping fondant pieces for cakes with a mini soda can cutter? Or maybe the details on a pie crust?
What's your favorite cookie cutter to use?